High school-set shows are, thankfully, a perpetual presence on the TV landscape. Who doesn’t like to escape into (read: happily torture themselves with) the nostalgia, idealism, and dramatic flair that can only be experienced during those pivotal coming-of-age years? Since 2000, this genre has delivered a smorgasbord of options, from the dizzying Euphoria to the hilarious Derry Girls to the uniquely relatable The O.C. to the comfort viewing of The Gilmore Girls.
To highlight these shows, and to put them into their proper context, The A.V. Club decided to not only run down the best the genre had to offer during the 21st Century, but to select the best show from each year. Sometimes that’s the first season a seminal series aired (as in the case of Veronica Mars), while other times it’s the best season a show had to offer (think season five of Friday Night Lights). Now grab your backpack and lace up your sneakers, it’s time to head back to school.